At 3:00 today, I got the call from a member of the Browns staff. "At the request of the Modell family we will respect the family's wishes to not have the Cleveland Browns do any remembrance at the season opener."
It might be the smartest phone call in Cleveland sports history.
While the NFL would like each team to take time out to say or do something to honor former Ravens/Browns owner Art Modell for the remainder of the weekend, the best thing to do was nothing in Cleveland.
The Browns were set to make a brief public announcement. I was told it was going to be a recognition and not a tribute. But, a conversation between the Modell's and the Browns earlier today came to the smartest conclusion.
It turns out to be perfect answer, and might be the best step toward healing across the board. The Browns insist that they wanted to do something no matter what the NFL wanted.
Someone on Lou Groza Boulevard might have thought it was a good idea. The person must not have lived through the 90's here in Cleveland.
As I have said before, you might have worried about the actions of Browns fans giving the city a black eye. You also could have looked at it as the ultimate disrespect to Art Modell. He had the final say about wanting to be in Cleveland. He choose to leave.
Those are actions he picked while he was alive. The league granted him that wish by letting him move the team. Today, I am glad the Modell family made the call. The same one they made while he was alive. Leave Cleveland, and leave it alone.
It took the Browns and the NFL off the hook. All eyes can now turn back to football. The way everybody wants or wanted it.
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